source: Householder's Way To Spiritual Salvation - Edit Page - Opinion - Home - The Times of India Householder's Way To Spiritual Salvation Kulbir Kaur - 2 November 2009 The world is real and withdrawal is considered as the negation of faith in Sikhism. Liberation is to be experienced in the world itself ''amidst its laughter and sport, fineries and foods'' because the spirit of affirmation is the basic tenet of Guru Nanak's teachings. The spiritual path revealed by Guru Nanak was not the lonely path of an ascetic who renounces the world. The path of salvation could be pursued while living the normal life of a householder by combining meditation in the form of Nam or the Divine Word while fulfilling all the responsibilities of everyday life. Nanak explains this idea through the metaphor of the lotus: ''Just as the lotus in the lake remains undisturbed by the water/ in the same way by linking one's consciousness with the supreme consciousness/ through utterance of the Holy name, one crosses the world ocean.'' Lovingly called 'Baba' and 'Sachcha Padshah', the true king, the founder-guru of the Sikh faith proclaims the world to be the creation of God. The Almighty reveals himself through his Creation only. Nanak rejected idolatry and propounded instead a simple monotheism. In his hymns, he emphasises the unity and uniqueness of the Supreme Being. The one God is Omnipotent and Omniscient, is both sat, truth and nirankar, formless. God is also Omnipresent. By meditating on his Creation and through devotion, one could attain Self-realisation and experience mystical union with the Divine. While describing the pleasure of knowing God, Nanak asserts that He is to be found in one's own heart. God is everywhere. Nanak sees the hand of God in everything. He sees Him even in objects like numbers. When he was employed as a shopkeeper, while weighing objects, on reaching the number 13 (tera, a word that denotes the numeral as well as meaning 'yours') Nanak would slip into a trance and repeatedly chant: ''Tera, tera, tera'' ...everything is yours, everything is yours, O God. Guru Nanak's spirituality was based on work ethics: kirt karo work hard, vand chhako share, and Nam japo remember the Source. He emphasised the virtues of simple living and high thinking. He preferred staying at the house of a poor carpenter, Lalo, rather than accept the hospitality of a rich man, Malik Bhago: ''The bread served by Lalo, earned by the sweat of his brow, is like sweet milk but what you offer me is the blood of the poor,'' he said to Bhago. Nanak institutionalised the tradition of sangat spiritual congregation of followers and pangat or guru-ka-langar, the community kitchen where all were welcomed with open arms. Nanak's poetry appeals as it reveals spiritual truths in simple language. He did not dismiss mundane duties as being inconsequential; rather, he taught how to infuse spirituality in everyday chores. To a farmer, Nanak said: ''The body is a field, let the mind be the plough/ good deeds thy ploughing/ let thine honest stirring be the channels, that irrigate the field/ sow the seed of the Holy name, make the clods of the field level with contentment/ wear, as a farmer the pleasant garb of humility.'' Guru Nanak Jayanti celebrates all this and more, for every act of sustenance and every thought, word and deed can be transformed to a higher plane with the spiritual insight that Nanak provided. In the words of Bhai Gurdas: ''By manifesting the Eternal Name, the Guru redeemed all the four corners and all the nine realms of the earth.'' Today is Guru Nanak Jayanti.